|"Sunset on a Tropical Beach" ©Mary Montague Sikes|
Earlier this week, I was researching hotels and resorts in Jamaica for a friend who wants her annual trip with sorority sisters to be to a Caribbean destination. She read about the Wyndham Rose Hall in my coffee table book, Hotels to Remember, and was so fascinated by the story of the White Witch of Rose Hall that she wanted to visit the legendary Great House. Since my book, published in 2002, is a "Snapshot in Time", I knew the hotel was no longer a Wyndham. It is now Hilton Rose Hall Resort and Spa, a property I have not yet visited and am unable to recommend from personal experience.
While the Rose Hall change did not surprise me, other transformations in Jamaica did. I discovered that both Grand Lido Negril and Grand Lido Braco are closed and have been for several years. Grand Lido Sans Souci is no more. During many trips to Jamaica, Olen and I stayed at all three locations and have fond memories of each destination. Braco has reopened as Melia Braco Village, a Spanish-operated resort. Grand Lido Negril which closed in April 2015 is now owned by Blue Diamond Hotel Groups which is renovating and expanding the property that will reopen in Fall 2016 as the Royalton Negril.
We loved visiting Jamaica, but things change. You can never go back and expect it to be the same. Moral of the story: Stay in the present. Never take anything for granted. Find joy in the moment. Take photographs. Make memories you'll never forget. Create paintings. Write a book. I did.